The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster: A Soulful Afro-Surrealist Journey

Vicaria is a brilliant teenager who believes death is a disease that can be cured. After the brutal murder of her brother, she embarks on a dangerous journey to bring him back to life.



The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster movie review (2023)


In the thought-provoking debut feature film “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster,” written and directed by Bomani J. Story, the intrinsic impact of violence on Black culture and history takes center stage.

This Afro-surrealist sci-fi escapade delves into themes of grief, generational trauma, and the relentless caricaturing of Black identity.

With a clear allusion to Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein, the film reimagines the “tragic monster” archetype, delivering a powerful and modern narrative.

A Quest for Life

Vicaria (Laya DeLeon Hayes), a precocious teenage scientist, embarks on a quest to cure death itself. Motivated by the murder of her older brother, Chris (Edem Atsu-Swanzy), in gang violence, she pursues her theory and successfully brings him back to life.

However, the resurrected Chris is not the sibling she once knew but a shell—a monstrous creation. As her community grapples with the violent aftermath, Vicaria finds herself navigating danger and denial.

Confronting Generational Trauma

While Chris’ death serves as the film’s inciting incident, “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” delves deeper into the themes of generational trauma and the yearning to overcome it.

Through emotional vignettes and a heartfelt portrayal of the community, the film paints a comprehensive picture of a neighborhood experiencing both grit and love.

Emotional Core

Father and Daughter Vicaria’s relationship with her father serves as the emotional core of the film, as they navigate their shared grief.

The bond she shares with Aisha (Reilly Brooke Stith), Chris’ girlfriend, is also explored, showcasing their close and often witty dynamic. These relationships offer nuanced perspectives on mourning and resilience.

Complex Characterization

“The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” refuses to stereotype its characters, including local gang members like Kango (Denzel Whitaker) and enforcer Jamaal (Keith Holliday).

As the narrative unfolds, the film allows us to see the depth and complexity within these characters, contributing to a more thoughtfully crafted story.

The Angry Black Girl and Her

Stellar Performances

Laya DeLeon Hayes shines in her role as Vicaria, showcasing versatility and emotional range throughout the film.

From her scientific mania to her unwavering determination and moments of piercing despair, her performance anchors the story with gravitas.

Nostalgic Homage and Kinetic Energy

The film cleverly incorporates mad scientist nostalgia, featuring skittery CG lightning bolts, neon lighting, and a high-impact score that juxtaposes well with the day-to-day sequences.

In its tight 92-minute runtime, the film immerses us in a microcosm of culture, blending shivering gore with engaging characters worth investing in.

Graceful Handling of Nuanced Topics

While occasionally opaque in its attempt to address multiple thesis-supporting scenarios, the script of “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” handles nuanced topics such as the symbiotic relationship between underserved communities and drug abuse with grace.

The film strikes a delicate balance between explanation and preserving its cutting edge.

A Soulful Cry for Control

Chris, reincarnated as a faceless, hooded Black man, embodies the culture’s stereotyped image—a figure evoking unjustified fear.

The film subverts expectations as Chris unintentionally confronts cultural stereotypes, forcing society to face its own fears and prejudices.

Functioning as more of a symbolic phantom than a true terror, Chris represents the repercussions of cycles of disenfranchisement—an underlying disease giving rise to Vicaria’s monster. The film poign

A Mirror of Cultural Reflection

“The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” intelligently challenges cultural norms and expectations by portraying Chris as a faceless, hooded Black man.

This deliberate choice forces society to confront the unwarranted fear associated with this cultural figure. By shining a mirror on these stereotypes, the film creates a sense of helplessness, fear, and tragedy.

Chris becomes a poignant symbol of the systemic issues perpetuating cycles of disenfranchisement.

The Angry Black Girl and Her

Symbolic Violence and its True Disease

Violence permeates the narrative of the film with poignant vigor. However, it is presented as a symptom rather than the core issue.

The violent actions depicted in the film serve as a representation of the deep-rooted consequences of generational trauma and the marginalization of underserved communities. “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” calls attention to the true disease that Vicaria’s monster embodies—the impact of systemic injustice and the urgent need for change.

A Soulful Cry for Empowerment

Above all, “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” serves as a soulful cry for control and empowerment. Through Vicaria’s journey, the film explores themes of resilience, defiance, and reclaiming power in the face of adversity.

It invites viewers to reflect on the strength and agency of marginalized communities and emphasizes the importance of rewriting narratives and challenging societal expectations.


“The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” is a groundbreaking debut feature that tackles profound themes with artistic flair and emotional depth.

By blending Afro-surrealist elements with a reimagined “tragic monster” archetype, writer/director Bomani J. Story crafts a thought-provoking narrative that forces audiences to confront the impact of violence, generational trauma, and cultural stereotypes.

With stellar performances, kinetic energy, and graceful handling of nuanced topics, the film ultimately delivers a powerful and soulful cry for empowerment and change.

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The Angry Black Girl and Her

Country: USA

Genre: , ,

Director: Bomani J. Story

Writter: Bomani J. Story

Actors: Chad L. Coleman, Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker

Duration: 1h 31m